Synopses & Reviews
A heartwarming holiday story from Audrey Couloumbis, the Newbery Honor–winning author of Getting Near to Baby.
With beautiful writing and an endearing young narrator so honest and full of hope that you can't help but fall in love with him, Audrey Couloumbis tells a story, of a young boy and the grandfather that he’s just getting to know, that will make readers laugh and cry and, most of all, appreciate the gift of family.
It's a few days before Christmas when ten-year-old Jake's mom breaks her leg, ending up in the hospital. For as long as Jake can remember, it's been just him and his mom. So with no one else to look after him, the hospital contacts the gruff granddad that Jake only knows through awkward twice-a-year phone calls. When Granddad shows up, he's nothing like Jake expected. And he brings a dog with him—a nightmare dog, Jake thinks at first. But as Jake gets to know his grandfather and a makeshift family of friends and neighbors comes together around him and his mom, he realizes that this might not be such a bad Christmas after all.
"In a slice-of-life novel filled with warmth and quiet humor, Couloumbis (War Games) shows how 10-year-old Jake weathers unexpected difficulties during the holidays. A few days before Christmas, Jake is dreaming of getting his first bike when his widowed mother has an accident. She falls on the ice and has to be hospitalized for several days with a broken leg. Jake is worried about his mother, but even after he is convinced she will fully recover, there remains the problem of finding a caretaker for Jake during the interim. Having his grandfather come from North Carolina seems to be the only solution, but Granddad is practically a stranger, and the dog he brings with him isn't 'the friendly kind.' Jake's gradual acceptance of his grandfather's idiosyncrasies is touchingly portrayed, especially when it becomes apparent that some of Jake's fondest memories of his father are really tied to his grandfather. With a comforting resolution that occurs just in time for Christmas, this book confirms that family boundaries are expandable and family love can overcome obstacles. Ages 8 12. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
This heartwarming holiday story from the Newbery Honor-winning author of "Getting Near to Baby" is the tale of a young boy and the grandfather who he's just getting to know.
About the Author
Audrey Couloumbis's first book for children, Getting Near to Baby, won the Newbery Honor in 2000. Audrey is also the author of several other highly acclaimed books for young readers, including The Misadventures of Maude March (which was named a Book Sense 76 Pick, a New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection, and a National Parenting Publications Gold Award Winner), Love Me Tender (a Book Sense Summer 2008 Pick) and War Games, which she coauthored with her husband, Akila Couloumbis (a Junior Library Guild Selection). Audrey lives in upstate New York and Florida with her dog, Phoebe, and Phoebe's two pet parakeets, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum.